self-reliance is a trap, and I am trying to pull myself out
Time was, when I toured, I rejected most offers of help: to load my car, to load my roadie cart, to pack up my props, to strike the set. I know what Iâ€™m doing, I thought, I have ways of doing these things that are better than other ways. I was the Tetris master of tour packing, I thought, and these other well-meaning people, they would just get in the way.
Furthermore, and possibly more to the emotional point, I didnâ€™t want to get used to having help. If I let people do things for me, I would get used to it. I would start to rely on it. My ability to do things for myself would atrophy, and then when the time came, as it inevitably would, that support was not there, I will fall on my face. I didnâ€™t want to get used to that help, and then have to struggle all over again.
I did it in general life stuff too, like not wanting to be in a significant relationship again in which I relied heavily on a person. Polyamory was my solution to that, and I interpreted that in the same way: if I let anybody be too involved, then when I got dropped, I would be helpless. The emotional underpinnings of my self-sufficiency become really obvious when I put them like that.
I felt this way for a long time, 100 percent. I didnâ€™t want to talk about it, but it was definitely there, tripping me up, making me sweat unnecessarily, tying me more and more fast into the belief that somehow I can boot-strap my own life, even though I know damn well that itâ€™s a terrible strategy and not feasible for anyone else. It was an exceptionalist stance on my part, I knew it, but I kept on with it.
But even I, the Human Bulldozer, the original “Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It” girl, cannot keep going like this forever.
Iâ€™ve got a complicated career, that depends not on my bullheadednessâ€”in fact, that probably gets in the wayâ€”but on my ability to work well with others and rely on them a great deal to get shit done when I canâ€™t be there. Iâ€™ve got an artistic vision and personal mandate that is predicated on supporting others in their vulnerability, and modeling that vulnerability as a starting point.Â I have found UK Muse, and with him a love greater than anything I have ever known, and there is nothing that I can do on my own to stay with him. Anything that I do must be done in conjunction with him. I have to let him help me.
This makes sense, I suppose. The past 10 years have been a second individuation period for me, where had to figure out again, what I wanted and who I was. I struggled against personal, artistic, and work bonds that chafed and restrained me. This time around, I said to myself, I will sort it out on my own. I will deal with it. Itâ€™s the only way tot make sure that I can actually do it, for myself.
Well, I know that I can. I know that the things that I want is way more difficult than I expected, and I know that this new period is about learning to ask for help, to accept help when itâ€™s freely offered, and to deliberately entertain the possibility of collaborationâ€”professional, romantic, and otherwiseâ€”when every strand of emotional fibre in my being is vibrating with fear.
I will let people touch my props. I will invite others to support. I will have hard conversations with my lover about our brave new world and the difficult path to it. Iâ€™m afraid; I still wish I could do all this by myself. But there really isn’t anyÂ other way.
I rely on you, too, you know. Readers and fansÂ like yourself can spread the word about my work, both written and performance-based, AND you can become a patron of mine on Patreon. I need your help, and I appreciate it.